Tompkins County Public Library

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

July 2014 Patron Comments

Comment:  How much do these "security" guards make?  Have they ever done anything useful?
Response:  TCPL contracts with Securitas, a private security firm to ensure that the guards assigned to the Library are up-to-date on the latest trends in public and private security.  They are an integral part of the TCPL team.  We have increased our security presence in response to patron suggestions and have heard from many community members who appreciate the added sense of comfort offered by our security team.

Comment:  Please remove the awful rust sculptures from the Library entrance.  They are not art.
Response:  Thank you for your feedback.  The sculptures are part of the Downtown Ithaca Alliance's Art in the Heart of the City program.  TCPL is delighted to host art through this collaboration.  As Henry David Thoreau once said, "It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see."

Comment:  Great books!   I really enjoyed "Acts of God" by Gilchrist and "Under the Wild" and "Starry Sky" by Horan.
Response:  Thank you for your wonderful recommendations.  One of the most magical gifts of literature is its ability to be shared!

Comment:  Make cards $1.
Response:  Thank you for your suggestion. One of the reasons that TCPL, and libraries throughout the country, are such vital community anchors is because of our commitment to providing free and equal access to resources and services.  Our library cards are free for residents of Tompkins and its contiguous counties, so that our entire community can benefit from and enjoy the Library!

Comment:  I would increase your limit of items on one's card.  I was visiting my sister her in Ithaca and had to put back half our books as your limit is only 20.  Our library system in Schenectady, NY allows 99 items per card.  Otherwise, this is a beautiful library--we loved the children's section.
Response:  We're glad you enjoyed the library.  Our community is fortunate to enjoy such a beautiful space for reading, reflection and community connections.  It sounds like your library system has a generous borrowing policy and it is wonderful that your family uses its services so heavily.  At TCPL, each card member can only borrow 20 items at a time, but all family members, including babies, can enjoy the benefits of Library cards.

Comment:  It's too hard to find DVDs!  When I'm in the mood for a comedy, I have to look for one from A-Z.  Grouping by type--comedy/mystery/drama, etc., would be so much easier.
Response:  Thank you for your suggestion.  Our goal is always to make TCPL easily accessible for our patrons.  Your feedback has been provided to our Adult Services Department for consideration.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Patron Comments June 2014

Comment:  Rather than placing the plexi-glass donation box in the entry lobby, perhaps we could get up a petition to our friends in the Common Council (across the street) to discontinue their security station and give the library the $80,000 annual savings.  They seriously don't need that rent-a-cop over there.
Response:  Thank you for recognizing the importance of public and private support for the library!  We work regularly with the Office of the Mayor and Common Council to discuss partnerships and funding opportunities.  The Library relies heavily on outsourced security services, so we fully appreciate the importance of public safety and hope that additional security at the Library and City Hall, help to make our community a safer, more comfortable place.

Comment:  Debbie was very helpful with finding and putting books on hold.
Response:  Thank you for sharing positive feedback about your library experience.  Debbie is a wonderful asset to TCPL.  She is an energetic, enthusiastic and always willing to go above-and-beyond to help patrons. 

Comment:  Movie request for "S.W.A.T. "The Firefight" by Beverly Jager.
Response:  Thank you for your request.  It has been forwarded to the ordering librarian.

Comment:  Noisy
Response:  We're sorry to hear that you found the library noisy during your recent visit. The library is a wonderful place for quiet enjoyment and lively programs and community conversations.  A wonderful place to enjoy calm at quiet at the Library is our Ezra Cornell Reading Room.  Please keep this space in mind during future visits when you are looking for a time for quiet reading or reflection.

Comment:  Book Request "No Place to Hide" by Glen Greenwald.
Reponse:  Thank you for your request. It has been forwarded to the appropriate library for ordering consideration.

Comment:  I am happy you have guards.  I feel safe.
Response:  We are delighted to hear that you feel safer as a result of our security guards.  Patron safety is a priority at TCPL!

Comment:  Put more bathrooms and drinking fountains at the front entrance.
Response:  Thank you for your suggestion.  We are constantly looking at ways to improve the function and accessibility of our building.  While lack of funding prohibits us from implementing many ideas for enhancements, we do have a wish-list of changes for future consideration.  We will add your suggestion to the list.

Comment:  Take the benches out in front of the library.  Then the people that hang around each day, smoking and selling drugs may lessen.  Thank you!  Have a Nice Day!
Response:  Thank you for suggesting the removal of the benches in front of the library building.  The benches are owned and maintained by Tompkins County.  While we have discussed their removal, we agree that they are important for the many community members awaiting TCAT transit services.  Instead we have increased our security presence and implemented a Zero-Tolerance Policy on illegal activity on library property. We are confident that this will help prevent future incidents.

Comment:  I'd like to request the book "The Unincorporated Woman" by Dan Kollin.  You have three other books in the series.  Thank you.
Response:  Thank you! We have notified the librarian responsible for ordering Science Fiction titles of your request.

Comment:  I've always wondered why TCPL closes on Sundays spring, summer, fall as though following the college calendar, focusing open hours around students.  These students have access to college and university libraries, whereas we in the community have only TCPL.  If one works during the week, Sunday is a primary visit day.  Seems curios.
Response:  Let us alleviate some of your curiosity!  TCPL is currently open 22 Sundays per year.  While we would love to be open on Sundays year-round, our funding is prohibitive.  When determining which Sundays to be open, we review door count figures from previous years and schedule our Sunday hours during times of highest attendance.  While our statistics may be higher when college students are in the area, we do not intentionally base our Sunday schedule on the college calendar.

Comment:  Please consider breaking DVDs and CDs into "children" and "young adult."  I think it is very important.  My 4-year-old is interested in Spider-Man.  We took home a DVD with no rating from the children's section.  I heard the words "what the hell."  We immediately returned it with a note, asking for it to be removed from the children's section.  It would be so helpful if all the DVDs on the children's shelf were appropriate for the under 8 crowd visiting the library.  This issue is making my visits to the library difficult and frustrating for both of us.
Response:  Thank you for sharing your concerns. They have been shared with our Youth Services librarians.  We appreciate how difficult it can be to select items for young audiences, especially with no visible rating.  As you can imagine, selecting materials for the Youth Services Department is challenging--it is difficult to choose items by age, because children develop and mature differently.  Our librarians can offer tremendous insight into the selection process, as can our catalog system.  Should you have any questions about titles for particular age groups, please ask one of our librarians.  Additionally, our online catalog often provides recommended age/rating information. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Patron Comments May 2014

Comment:  I was surprised when I came in to pick up a held item (about a week after receiving notice that it was in) to be told it had been returned and my account charged for "reshelving" because I hadn't retrieved it within seven days.

The phone message (automated) that notifies a patron to come to TCPL for a requested item says nothing about a retrieval deadline or accompanying fine.  This is not really fair to the patron.

Please change the end of the automated message from "please pick up this item ASAP" to "we will hold the item for one week from today, after which it will be returned and shelved and a fee then charged to your library account."  People should be informed if there is a deadline and fee.

Response:  Thank you for sharing your thoughts on TCPL's current hold policies and related communications.  We are constantly reviewing our circulation procedures to ensure quality service for our patrons and maximum efficiency for the department.  We no longer charge a fee for placing a hold, but do still charge accounts if a hold is not picked-up before its "unclaimed" date.  Your feedback regarding the automated message is helpful and has been shared with the department.  Additional information about TCPL hold policies can be found at http://tcpl.org/services/circulation-holds.php.

Comment:  [The Library should hold a] teen lock-in where teens read a certain book and then have a special night of programs about it.

Response:  Thank you for your wonderful suggestion.  TCPL's Teen Librarian Regina DeMauro is constantly developing creative teen programs like the one you have suggested to keep teens and tweens engaged and active in the Library!  You should consider joining our Teen Advisory Group where you can help Regina develop programs, select titles for our collection, advocate on behalf of TCPL and share ideas and suggestions for new/enhanced teen services.  For more information, visit http://tcpl.org/teens/tag.php.

Comment:  You should get a new copy of the movie "Starship Troopers."  It is no longer in the system.

Response:  Thank you for your suggestion!  It has been shared with the staff member responsible for ordering DVD's.  In the meantime, opies of "Starship Troopers 2" and Starship Troopers 3" are available through the Finger Lakes Library System.

Comment:  Suggested purchases:  Children's DVDs on US History, including the Civil War. 

Response:  Thank you for your request, it has been passed on to our Youth Services Department. 

Comment:  Thank you.  Good job guys!

Response:  Thank you for sharing positive feedback about TCPL.  We are committed to providing a quality library experience for Tompkins County and the surrounding area and are glad to hear that you appreciate the Library.

Comment:  I don't like the library

Response:  We're sorry to hear that you don't enjoy the Library.  With so many programs, resources and services, maybe you haven't yet found the one that best suits your needs.  We encourage you to continue visiting and share your ideas for  enhancing the services we provide.


 
 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Patron Comments March and April 2014

Comment:  Tom was very helpful in locating books.
Response:  We are delighted to hear that you were pleased with the service you received at TCPL.  We have two wonderful staff members in our Adult Serviced Department named Tom.  They are both tremendous assets to TCPL and our community!

Comment:  I suggest the Library not pay The Ithaca Journal--Monday at 3:30 and Saturday at 1:30, there was still no paper.  On Saturday, the New York Times was here. No newspaper, no money.
Response:  Thank you for letting us know that our copy of The Ithaca Journal was not in its home spot during your visits.  The Ithaca Journal is a tremendous resource for our community, and it is very popular among Library patrons.  Our copies may have been being read by someone else, or our delivery person may have been experiencing delays.  Please feel free to let a staff member know if you cannot find the newspaper--or any item--at the Library!

Comment:  I am not comfortable or happy with the security kiosk right by the front door.
Response:  Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the relocation of our security kiosk.  The kiosk move is part of a number of trial steps we are taking to ensure that our patrons find the Library a safe, and welcoming space.  Your thoughts will be shared with our security team and considered as we develop additional security policies and procedures in the coming weeks!

Comment:  When the Library closes because of the weather, could you change the phone message to reflect that the Library is closed?  It's frustrating to walk all the way over on my creaky bones to find it closed--especially when I've tried to call to check.  I was told here at the front desk that the closure is on the Internet--that is why I am here--I don't have Internet at home!
Response:  We are so sorry to hear that you ventured to the Library on one of the few days we were closed due to weather this winter.  We do our absolute best to remain open for our community, even during inclement weather. Unfortunately, there are days when it just isn't safe for our staff members to make the commute to work.  While our phone messages cannot be changed remotely, we do contact local radio and television stations to notify patrons without home Internet service when we are closed.  Again we are sorry for your inconvenience and are hoping for warm, sunny weather in the months ahead!

Comment:  Vicky was very helpful during my visit with finding and renewing a book.  Thanks!
Response:  We are delighted to hear that Vicky was able to assist you during your recent visit.  We are very fortunate to have long-time, dedicated employees like Vicky!

Comment:  I love the indoor trees.  Keep it up!
Response:  Thank you!  The trees were a thoughtful gift from the Friends of the Tompkins County Public Library in recognition of our relocation to Green Street.  They have become a well-loved and recognizable part of our Avenue of the Friends!

Comment:  More original Japanese manga and a language exchange group for language-learning patrons.
Response:  Thank you so much for your suggestions.  They have been shared with the librarians responsible for our Manga and World Languages collections.
 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Patron Comments January 2014

Comment:  Get a copy of the audio book for “Harvest” by Tess Gerritseh.
Response:  Thank you for your suggestion. It has been shared with the Librarian responsible for ordering Audiobooks.

Comment:  Patron would like more attention paid to handicap path during winter.
Response:  Thank you for this important suggestion.   It is our goal to make the Library easily accessible for all members of our community. We will share your feedback with our Facilities team!

Comment:  It is not very pleasant to come to the library and try to read when there are many people (mostly men) sitting in the chairs by the windows talking about cops, drugs, using the “F” word and talking on their cell phones.
Response:  We are sorry to learn of your recent experience at the Library.  We are committed to providing free and equal access to all members of our community; however, any time you are unhappy with the environment or services at TCPL, please reach out to a staff member.  Additionally, consider visiting our Ezra Cornell Reading Room for a comfortable, quiet reading space.

Comment:  Buy Wheelmen, by Reed Albergotti.
Response:  Thank you for your suggestion.  It has been passed on to the appropriate Librarian for consideration.  While TCPL does not currently own a copy of “Wheelmen”, one can be borrowed through inter-library loan.  Please call or visit our Reference Desk for more information.

Comment:  My Promised Land, by Ari Shavit would be nice to have.  The First Phone Call from Heaven, by Mitch Albom.
Response:  Thank you for your feedback.  “My Promised Land” is available through inter-library loan.  Call or visit our Reference Desk for information on borrowing a copy.  As you can imagine, Mitch Albom’s latest book is very popular.  TCPL owns several copies, but they are being heavily circulated.  Consider placing a hold on a copy, and you will be contacted when one is available.

Comment:  When did the front of the library by the windows become a freakin loud day-care center for people who sound like they don’t even know how to read?
Response:  It is unclear whether or not you are referring to the space inside or outside of the Library.  We are currently working diligently to make the space outside of the Library more accessible to our patrons.  If you are experiencing disruptive behavior inside the Library, please let a staff member know, so that appropriate measures can be taken.

Comment:  Please don’t mix categories!  Science Fiction and Horror ( I hate horror)
Response:  Thank you for your suggestion.  Our Science Fiction and Horror titles mixed due to space constraints; however, our reference librarians would be happy to help you identify titles that fall into each category.

Comment:  Please bring back the “Not New But Worth a View” section.
Response:  We're glad you enjoyed the "Not New, But Worth a View," section!  While we no longer have a designated spot for these titles, we are still putting thematic "Not New, But Worth a View" titles on our new display units.  Please take a look at these evolving displays!

Comment:  Please get new movies.  The ones you got don’t work sometimes and music.
Response:  Thank you for your feedback.  We are constantly working to expand our DVD and CD offerings.  Should you find specific titles in our collection that do not work, please let us know, so that the item can be reordered or repaired.

Comment:  More Hip-Hop cd’s would be great for culture.
Response:  Thank you for your suggestion.  It has been passed on to the ordering Librarian.

Comment:  Not for the first time, may I suggest:  Line for those not having business to transact (overdue, lost, etc. Waiting and waiting in line to simply pick up a hold request.  Self-serve not an option.
Response:  We apologize for the inconvenience.  We are currently reviewing our hold procedures in order to streamline the process

Comment:  It would be good to have a different system for people applying for a library card – it really ties up the checkout line.  Thank you.
Response:  Thank you for your feedback!  We are currently reviewing our Circulation policies to ensure efficient service.